Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken

Weird name, how about if is was called Grilled Butterflied Chicken?

That’s easier to say; Spatchcock is the professional culinary term.

According to The Oxford Companion to Food: “"The theory is that the word is an abbreviation of 'dispatch the cock,' a phrase used to indicate a summary way of grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat.”

A split and flattened chicken not only takes less time to cook, but cooks more fully and is moister. There’s lots of spatchcock chicken recipe variations online; this one is from a recent issue of (Martha Stewart) Living magazine.

Whole chickens were on sale this week, temps are HOT, and Grenville was grilling — GREAT combo. Cold leftovers will be great with salad cause it’s still gonna be HOT.

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken

Prepare the chicken early in the day, refrigerate, then take out 30 minutes before grilling.

  • 1 medium onion, peeled, cut in halfspatchcocked chicken (2)
  • 1 large garlic glove
  • 1/3 C packed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage; used basil and oregano from our garden)
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, zest only removed in strips with peeler
  • 1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lb.) spatchcocked/butterflied
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To spatchcock a chicken, cut along each side of the backbone with shears. Remove the backbone and reserve for stock (freezes for up to 3 months). Turn the bird breast side up, flatten with your palm. (If you want a graphic visual, see the LINKS below.)

  1. Puree onion, garlic, herbs, oil, and lemon zest in food processor.spatchcocked chicken (6)
  2. Rub some of puree under skin of chicken breast. Rub remaining puree over rest of bird.
  3. Refrigerate at least 6 hours  to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and/or lemon before grilling.spatchcocked chicken (8)


  1. Heat grill to medium high. Grill chicken breast side down, covered with vent open, until charred, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Flip and cook 30 minutes more then flip again; grill until internal temp reaches 165 degrees in thickest part of breast, 5 minutes longer.
  3. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


VIDEOS – naked undressed chickens are shown on this Cookthink website which has a step-by-step pictorial, or you can watch this New York Times video.


Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

That does sound so good so I will have to try it. I do love a good char on meat that is cooked on the grill. YUM!

Daisy said...

It's been hot here for several days and is likely to continue for more. Chicken grilled outside sounds great!

Sandra said...

i loved charred anything on a grill, but the name sounds nasty... spatchcocked is a new word for me. my daddy spatchcocked the rooster that attacked me when i was 2..

Maple Lane said...

I'm giggling about Sandra's comment above!
This looks/sounds delicious. Great for the 4th of July BBQ!

A Quiet Corner said...

We really like chicken cooked on the grill & this looks delicious! We use our grill more than our stove-top...even in winter!...:)JP

Montanagirl said...

Looks delicious!

Mamabug said...

That looks quite yummy! Now I'm hankering for some of that delicious looking bird.

Elaine said...

Looks very good!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Tammy, you will enjoy and different herb can be substitued. I used fresh basil from our garden.

Daisy, cooking outdoors is great for any type of weather - less cleanup too.

Sandra, new word for me too.

Mildred, me too, funny story from Sandra

JP, enjoy!

Mona, Christine, ELaine...thanks for the comments :-)

Out on the prairie said...

Looks really good, I miss my grill here

NCmountainwoman said...

We're going to try that on Sunday. It looks delicious!

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